Concerti Grossi, Op. 3 (Handel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Frideric Handel by Thomas Hudson (1749)

The Concerti Grossi, Op. 3, HWV 312–317, are six concerti grossi by George Frideric Handel compiled into a set and published by John Walsh in 1734. Musicologists now agree that Handel had no initial knowledge of the publishing. Instead, Walsh, seeking to take advantage of the commercial success of Corelli's Opus 6 Concerti Grossi, simply combined several of Handel's already existing works and grouped them into six "concertos".[1][2]

Musical structure[edit]

The structure of Op. 3 is somewhat unusual. Only one of the six concertos contains the usual four movements, while the other four having anything between two and five. Only occasionally are the instrumental forces set in the traditional concerto grosso manner, i.e. a tutti group and a contrasting, soloistic concertino group. However, the concertos are filled with virtuoso solo passages for both the string and the woodwinds, thus maintaining the form of the concerto grosso despite the lack of traditional contrasting forces.[2]

Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 1 - HWV 312[edit]

The first and probably earliest concerto of the set is scored for two recorders, two oboes, two bassoons, strings (with divided viola), and continuo.[1] It is unusual in that only its first movement is in the tonic key of B-flat--the other two are in the relative minor, G minor.

  • I. Allegro
  • II. Largo
  • III. Allegro

Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op. 3, No. 2 - HWV 313[edit]

The second concerto contains four movements in B flat major and one (the second) in G minor. The opening movement of the five-movement concerto bears a close relationship to Handel's Brockes Passion of 1716. Unusually, two dance movements, a minuet, and a gavotte complete the concerto.[2] The final gavotte bears a close resemblance to "The King Shall Rejoice" from Handel's Coronation Anthems. The concerto is scored for two oboes, one bassoon, strings, and continuo.[1]

  • I. Vivace
  • II. Largo
  • III. Allegro
  • IV. Moderato
  • V. Allegro

Concerto Grosso in G major, Op. 3, No. 3 - HWV 314[edit]

The third Concerto is again in three movements (the opening Largo is too brief to be classified as a movement). There is little doubt that this concerto was compiled by Walsh from a number of pieces by Handel. The concerto is scored for one oboe (can also be replaced by flute), one bassoon, strings, and continuo.[1]

  • I. Largo, e staccato - allegro
  • II. Andante
  • III. Allegro

Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 3, No. 4 - HWV 315[edit]

The fourth concerto is the only piece in the opus that follow a four movement framework. Although the layout of this work does not reflect the typical concerto grosso as the music was pulled straight from the overture to the 1715 opera Amadigi di Gaula,[2] the piece uniquely displays many aspects of Handel's concerto grosso style. The piece is scored for two oboes, one bassoon, strings, and continuo.[1]

  • I. Largo
  • II. Andante
  • III. Allegro
  • IV. Allegro

Walsh also published a 'No. 4b' concerto erroneously under the name of Handel but it was withdrawn a few months later, possibly at Handel's request.[1]

Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op. 3, No. 5 - HWV 316[edit]

Despite lack of division into tutti and concertino and the addition of an extra allegro movement at the very end, the fifth concerto follows the traditional Italian model closest of all the Op. 3 works.[2] Walsh only published the first two movements but because it had already been known in its entirety, so it is probable that Handel requested it be published in full. The piece is scored for two oboes (originally one), one bassoon, strings, and continuo.[1]

  • I. Largo
  • II. Fuga, allegro
  • III. Adagio
  • IV. Allegro, ma non troppo
  • V. Allegro

Concerto Grosso in D major, Op. 3 No. 6 - HWV 317[edit]

The sixth and final concerto has just two movements, the Vivace, whose music is extracted from the 1723 opera Ottone, and the Allegro, which is also Handel's first published organ concerto,[1] is taken from the overture to the 1712 opera Il pastor fido.[2] The piece is scored for two oboes, one bassoon, strings, and continuo.[1]

  • I. Vivace
  • II. Allegro

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]